Turkey releases nine Islamic State suspects

Islamic State suspect being taken to court in Konya, Turkey

Nine people taken into custody in the Central Anatolian city of Konya charged with online ‘Islamic State (IS) propaganda’ on 18 January, were released by the court on Friday on condition of judicial control.

The decision comes after the recent revelation that an IS member who appeared in a propaganda video threatening Turkey had previously been detained twice in Turkey and released.

Islamic State suspect being taken to court in Konya, Turkey

According to Turkish media, the recently identified Turkish IS militant, Hasan Aydin, was detained in 2012 in an operation targeting al-Qaeda in the southern province of Adana but was later released. He was detained again in 2015, while attempting to cross into Syria, and later released on condition of judicial control.

The opposition in Turkey has criticised the government and the security forces for their perceived shortcomings in dealing with the threat of IS inside Turkey’s borders.

According to Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP and spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen, the “movement of Islamist terrorists from Syria to Turkey has been escalating recently”.

Bilgen claimed that members of IS, the al-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham, and the Free Syrian Army have been travelling in large numbers from Syria to Turkey.